UMBC defeated Marist tonight thanks to a second-half surge that saw the Retrievers turn a 6-4 halftime deficit into a 14-8 victory. UMBC’s comeback was powered by a 10-2 run after Marist scored their 6th goal of the game with a little over 8 minutes left in the second quarter. After Marist put up their sixth goal of the contest, the UMBC defense hunkered down and prevented the Red Foxes from scoring their 7th goal of the night until the 7:10 mark in the 4th quarter.
A big part of the Retrievers’ strong defensive performance after Marist’s quick start was UMBC goalie Tommy Linger. Jack Morton was the starting goaltender for UMBC tonight, however, after Marist scored their 5th goal of the game, 9 seconds into the 2nd quarter (Morton only had one save in a little over 15 minutes of action), UMBC head coach Ryan Moran made the call and went with Linger.
Making the decision to pull Morton paid off well for UMBC, as Linger was very effective once he was in the game. He finished the evening with 9 saves and only allowed three goals in relief. His steady play in the net helped UMBC hold Marist scoreless for 30+ minutes. The Red Foxes never really recovered from that drought. That’s not to say Marist didn’t put up a fight. The Red Foxes made a mini-run in the 4th quarter, scoring two quick goals to cut UMBC’s lead to 11-8 with 6:56 left in the game. Nevertheless, the Retrievers responded by scoring the final three goals of the contest to close out the 14-8 victory.
UMBC was led on offense by Steven Zichelli & Trevor Patschorke who both had a hat-trick plus an assist on the evening, combining for 8 points total. Zichelli & Patschorke had lots of help on the offensive end, as four other UMBC players finished the game with 2 or 3 points. Corey Gaines also had a good evening for UMBC, leading the team with 4 GBs.
After a promising first quarter, Marist really couldn’t get back on track once Linger was put into the game. There were some bright spots for the Red Foxes. Peyton Smith had a great game at the face-off winning 18 out of 26. Additionally, attackman Jake Weinman finished the game with three goals. Moreover, fellow attackman Jamison Embury also had a solid game with two goals and one assist. However, despite some strong individual performances tonight, it was not enough to beat UMBC.
UMBC’s reward for beating Marist in the play-in game tonight is a date with #1 seed Penn State on Sunday at noon on ESPNU. The game versus the Nittany Lions will be UMBC’s fourth game in nine days. But I am sure if you ask head coach Moran or any of his players, they’ll say that they don’t mind the extra game on short rest one bit.